Olive oil is a healthy kitchen staple—but how about adding a splash of the exotic to your favorite recipes?
These four nutrient-rich oils, each boasting a unique flavor and blend of vitamins, good fats, and polyphenols
Rich in polyphenols, coconut oil’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can promote brain and heart health, reduce cholesterol, and manage metabolism. Try virgin coconut oil for a sweeter, buttery taste and refined if you prefer odorless and tasteless. Adds depth to tofu dishes; also yummy in smoothies or sprinkled over homemade popcorn.
Known for its nearly neutral flavor, sunflower oil is ultrarich in vitamin E and low in saturated fat. It can reduce cholesterol and support heart health, and its smoke point ranges from 225–450 degrees, so you can use it for almost anything, from grilling to high-temp frying. For a healthy indulgence, combine with molasses and whole-grain or flaxseed waffles.
Extracted from potent, antioxidant-rich grape seeds, which are often discarded in the winemaking process, grapeseed oil has a distinct, almost fruity taste that works well combined with peppers and fresh herbs like cilantro, fresh rosemary, and dill, says Irby. With a smoke point of around 420 degrees, it’s appropriate for veggie stir-fry and other high-temp cooking.
Hemp oil’s powerful blend of “good fats” like omega-3s and omega-6s benefits everything from your heart and brain to hair and skin. Its slightly nutty flavor complements fresh herb and vegetable salads. Whisk together hemp oil, vinegar, lemon zest, and mustard for a vibrant vinaigrette.